Unified Communications Managed Services
Make Cisco Unified Communications work for you
Communications are strategic for your business success
We at Stack8 believe that communicating and collaborating with clients is at the heart of your business. It is an integral part of your day-to-day success and drives competitive advantage.
Your unified communication requirements are unique as is your business strategy; they go hand in hand. By placing your UC systems in the Cloud, your communications become commoditized, and your competitive advantage is eroded.
However, success and competitive advantage are not easy. Managing your unified communications (UC) environment is complicated and puts high demands on your business’s UC infrastructure and the people who support it. As with any powerful technology, UC is constantly evolving, and so it is difficult to stay current with the latest versions and emerging applications/functionalities.
There is an Answer – Unified Communications Managed Services
We believe the only way to address all your needs while also ensuring that your communications are performing as critical, strategic business applications is with a proper, world-class unified communications managed service.
We believe managed services should reinforce your team, not replace it.
We believe that the right combination of skills, expertise, experience, process, systems, and depth will help you maximize the benefits of unified communications and stay ahead of the competition.
How does UC Managed Services help your business?
The benefits of our Cisco UC Managed Services
How much money are you spending on unified communications? Are you getting the most out of your technology investment? How do you know that the money you are spending on UC is paying off?
The key to being able to answer these questions is Utilization. We will help you uncover whether or not your team is using the technology you’ve invested in and whether or not they are using it effectively. By tracking this information and working to improve the results constantly, we help you deliver on the promises of unified communications.
When it comes to technology, control is a very touchy subject. We are not focusing on the control of assets. We are concerned with someone telling you what you can and cannot do with your business. Customizability, longevity, quality, reliability, functionality, and access amongst other things are business decisions. We believe the only ones who should be making these decisions, who has your best business interests in mind – is you!
We believe that your team should always maintain 100% control over your entire UC environment.
Your managed services partner should be an extension of your team, not the owner.
We believe you should control the timing and type of upgrades performed on your system
We believe you should maintain complete control over the security of your data.
Control provides flexibility. We believe that flexibility means that you’re ready for whatever happens in the market and you’re able to turn change into opportunity by adjusting to the new reality almost immediately.
In the unified communications world, this means being able to take full advantage of all UC applications and functionalities without worrying that something won’t be supported. It means integrating your communications with other critical business applications like Salesforce, ServiceNow, etc.
It means having the ability to make and execute decisions in time, which is vital for a sustainable competitive advantage.
How do we make this happen for you?
What you receive with our UC Managed Services Packages
We provide in-house experts who are here to help you maximize the benefits of unified communications
We provide in-house experts who will help you leverage the years of experience we have gained working directly with Cisco and clients all over the world.
Many of our team have worked at Cisco and will work with you to get tasks completed on time.
We want to be an extension of your IT staff not just an outsourcer.
Our specialized Cisco UC team can quickly diagnose any issues and take corrective action to ensure that your infrastructure is up and running at peak efficiency.
We will show you how to use your UC solution to its fullest and find real tangible value.
Stack8’s support team is always available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help serve you better
We understand that your business doesn’t just operate from 9 to 5. Our support team is always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With our 24/7 support, you will have immediate access to technical resources from initial inquiry until resolution.
We will show you how to use your Cisco UC solution to its fullest and to keep running it efficiently
Consulting, guidance, assistance, strategic planning
“Where are we now and where do we want to go with our unified communications?” are important questions that you need to ask from the onset. Our managed service packages offer bundled consulting hours to help guide you through the challenges of unified communications. We will show you how to use your UC solution to its fullest potential, as well as how to keep it up and to run it efficiently.
We actively monitor your supporting UC infrastructure to help ensure reliable unified communications
Proactive monitoring, prevention and alerting
Reacting to problems only after they have occurred will lead to downtime. Stack8 has spent years developing internal tooling and processes to manage our customer’s UC infrastructure better. We actively monitor your unified communications and supporting infrastructure to ensure reliable UC with the goal of no downtime.
We offer 24/7 support anywhere around the world regardless of your time zone or geographic location
We offer 24/7 support anywhere around the world. The global scope of our managed services means that we can give you the support that covers your business regardless of your time zone or geographic location.
UC system updates
All upgrades, updates and maintenance are performed in a timely fashion and per the priorities of you
UC system updates
Your business is unique, and the features and functionalities you require in a UC solution are also unique. We will ensure that you maintain control of your UC infrastructure. All upgrades, updates, and regular maintenance will be performed as needed in a timely fashion and per the priorities of you.
When technical issues occur, UC our support team will provide you with fast, reliable, expert support
When technical issues occur, our team will provide you with fast, expert 24/7 support to help restore normal services as quickly as possible. Our support team works closely with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center as well as other 3rd party manufacturers and have access to the latest online knowledge bases, communities, and tools. We will also work with your team on problem management with the purpose to prevent similar problems from recurring.
SMACS (Stack8 Moves, Adds and Changes Solution) will help you with the complexities of managing MACS
SMACS (Stack8 Moves, Adds and Changes Solution) is a user provisioning tool for Cisco Unified Communications (UC) solutions. SMACS is designed to help businesses minimize the complexities of managing Moves, Adds, and Changes (MAC).
SMACS allows you to delegate repetitive provisioning tasks to your Helpdesk or end-user, so your senior IT staff can focus on critical tickets and strategic projects.
All UC applications
Our experts can effectively manage and support all of your Cisco Unified Communications applications
All UC applications support
We are experts in ALL Cisco UC applications. Whether you require support for call control, voice messaging, instant messaging, web collateral, control center, video conferencing, call manager we can effectively manage them all for you.
3rd party integration
We will help you make the best use of existing technologies including integration of 3rd party tools
3rd Party Integration
You’ve spent a lot of time and money building a telephony infrastructure that is not necessarily homogeneous. We will help develop a UC strategy that makes the best use of your existing technologies and can scale as your company grows including integration of third party tools.
We can help your team properly manage all of the complexities involved with Moves, Adds, and Changes
Moves, adds and changes (MACs) are a critical task for all enterprises. But the criteria required to execute user provisioning can be laborious, time-consuming and if not managed properly may result in downtime. We will work with your team to implement user provisioning tools that will help your business with the complexities of managing MACs for both the end user and system.
UC network management
Our team will proactively monitor your network infrastructure for warning signs of potential problems
UC Network management
Ensuring your network is operating at optimum levels will help you avoid system downtime and the costs associated with it. The Stack8 team provides network management services we will proactively monitor your network infrastructure for warning signs of potential problems before they become critical issues.
UC Managed Services Packages
24/7 Support Services
- Call-in access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Incident management.
- Global reach.
- 3rd party integration.
- Rapid deployment & transition.
- Support services can be used for any issues, debugging, configuration assistance, troubleshooting.
- 5 hours monthly.
- MACs (end user, system).
- Consultation hours may be used for consulting, guidance, assistance, strategic planning.
- Proactive monitoring, prevention and alerting.
SMACS - Stack8 Moves, Adds, and Changes Solution
- License of SMACS user provisioning tool for Cisco UC solutions
- SMACS integration, management, and maintenance
All Professional Services plus:
- Proactive monitoring, prevention and alerting.
- Automatic upgrades, updates & regular maintenance to ensure the highest uptime with no lapses in performance.
UC Network management
- Proactive network monitoring for optimized system performance.
SMACS - Stack8 Moves, Adds, and Changes Solution
- License of SMACS user provisioning tool for Cisco UC solutions.
- SMACS integration, management, and maintenance.
Everything you need to know about our managed services
Frequently asked questions
Download our UC Managed Services FAQ
How is support provided?
- Support is available by telephone and email
How can I contact your support department?
- Our technical team is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +1-514-940-4110 or +1-844-940-4110
Is emergency support available 24/7?
- Yes, support is available 24/7 for all of our managed services packages
What can I expect from your customer help desk?
- Stack8 offers immediate access to senior technical resources, from the moment you call us with your question until resolution you’ll be working with only the best.
How are complex questions escalated?
- If the first technician you speak with is unable to answer your question, they will escalate it to a technical lead within their service group. If for some reason we can’t directly address the issue we will leverage your service contract to engage your vendors support organization. We will also manage escalations with the vendor to ensure the best possible outcome.
Do you offer traditional break/fix support for hardware, software and other infrastructure?
- Traditional break/fix support is available within our Professional - UC managed services package
How does your team stay current with new technology developments and trends?
- Staying on top of the constantly changing technology field is critical for any IT focused organization. At Stack8, in addition to our individual team members, personal interest in keeping abreast of developments in the field we also have senior staff members participate in industry and vendor events and host numerous internal learning sessions to share that knowledge, both of specific products and of industry trends, within the organization.
What percentage of your business is dedicated to managed services vs. other types of business models?
- 85% of our business is dedicated to services; the other 15% comes from software development. As a non-traditional service only organization, Stack8 does not sell hardware like a traditional VAR and has no interest in pushing you towards products that exceed your needs.
How many years have you been providing managed services offerings? Are they strategic to what you do?
- Stack8 has provided managed services since it was founded in 2010. Managed services are our core business with over 85% of our business dedicated to services.
What members of your team will be working on my project? Will this change over time?
- Primary technical contact – in as much as possible we prefer to have individual team members (or groups, for larger organizations) develop a relationship with the customer and their environment. In their absence, other members of the team can step in to assure that we exceed both your expectations and our SLA obligations.
What relevant industry credentials or certifications, if any, does your firm or team have?
- As a Cisco solution partner, we have many technical engineers on our team who are Cisco certified.
What is your level of expertise with the regulatory compliance requirements for my industry?
- Stack8 is a PCI Compliant Service Provider and has extensive experience working in heavily regulated environments in the financial, medical and legal spaces. We are familiar with the many challenges that these environments pose and are ready to help you and your team address them.
If I am required to provide an audit trail to demonstrate compliance, how will this be handled?
- Your systems should have proper auditing in place, to achieve your compliance objectives, as Stack8 will access your environment as any other user would their accesses will be logged in the same way. If you do not presently have adequate logging controls in place we would be pleased to help you implement them to meet your compliance objectives.
Do you have any customers that are in a similar line of business like mine?
- Yes, Stack8 has clients in nearly every vertical marketplace
Can you provide customer references and direct access to clients that have done business with you?
- Yes, customer referrals can be provided upon request
Costs and Contracts
What is the fee structure? Are there any extra or hidden fees?
- Fees are based upon a per user basis. Optional services may be added to each managed services package. Please see your account manager for further details.
Do you conduct an upfront network assessment before quoting a fee for the contract? How much does this cost?
- Yes, we conduct an upfront network assessment to ascertain the complexity of your network. Fees are dependant upon the size and complexity of the network infrastructure.
Do you use the same service level agreement for all customers or can we negotiate/collaborate its terms individually?
- Service level agreements are customized based on each client's requirements.
Do you offer contract flexibility, such as the option of annual or monthly payments?
- Yes, different payment options are available upon request.
What happens if I want to terminate my contract?
- We transition all knowledge and documentation back to the client; our focus is to make any transition smooth. To work with them in their environment not to own it.
Will I need to purchase any additional infrastructure, software, etc. to use this solution?
- Stack8 will deploy the appropriate tooling to monitor and manage your environment in keeping with the terms of your support package. Most of these tools will be deployed inside our environment and connected to you rather than being deployed on site.
Capabilities and Offerings
What is your average network uptime performance?
- In a properly configured environment where our onboarding recommendations are implemented or we performed the initial deployment, we regularly achieve 99.9 to 100% uptime outside of scheduled maintenance.
Are there “good, better, best” tiers of features and capabilities?
- Our managed services packages are available in two tiers - Professional and Premium. The difference between the two offerings is the number of features required.
Do you offer on-site hours built into the regular contractual fee?
- No, on-site hours are only available as an option within our managed services packages.
Is there flexibility to add or subtract service offerings on the fly, based on need?
- Yes, there is a possibility, modifications are based upon the contractual agreement.
Are you able to not only diagnose problems remotely but also fix them without customer intervention?
- We make every effort to minimize interaction with the client as we address problems. While some types of issues do require interaction with end users and your support team we try to reduce our impact on your business operations and handle as much on our side of the fence as possible.
If customization is required, how is that handled?
- Everything that we offer as a service organization can be adapted to the needs of our customers. From the packages themselves to our business processes and tooling everything can be adapted to your specific needs.
Do you use a commercial software platform to run your managed services operation, like a professional services automation (PSA) software or remote monitoring & management software?
- Stack8 has spent years developing our internal tooling and processes to manage customer environments better. We use a combination of a variety of different open source and commercial tools as well as a significant amount of in-house developed tooling to address your needs.
What methods are used to protect my data?
- Our management and monitoring infrastructures for different managed service customers are fully isolated from one and other and our internal network. In our regular practice, however, we try to minimize the amount of information that leaves the customer environment and thus the risk of data loss or exposure.
Are there any guarantees to protect my data against security breaches or data leaks?
- The amount of customer data we have is limited, our operational documentations, user documentations are all stored on the user network. We connect through VPN and follow our client's security protocols.
How are data backup and disaster recovery handled? - What redundancy is built into the system?
- Data loss on the Stack8 side should not have an operational impact on the customer environment. This said we have backups of our systems and can restore in the event of service loss. For customers with the specific high availability needs, solutions can be customized to reach them. We maintain a number of high availability environments with thousands of remote sites.
Do you use a multitenant environment to host many customers on the same systems?
- Yes, we use shared equipment to monitor and manage customer environments. These are implemented with extremely strict controls to prevent information from propagating between the environments. If you have specific concerns about shared infrastructure, these can be addresses and customized as part of your specific service offering.
Do you use a third-party hosting provider/data center to run your operations? If so, which provider and are they or you responsible for my data?
- Our managed service offerings are delivered from multiple colocation facilities. We can provide more details about our partners on request. We can also deploy in additional sites based on your geographic or jurisdictional requirements.
Is support offered globally?
- Yes, Stack8 provides support services anywhere globally.